?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
hbp, spoilers, mostly inner-thought things
waiting
seperis
This is pretty much for me. I got *really* frustrated with myself when I went looking to see if I'd posted anything on Order of the Phoenix and how I felt about it and realized I *hadn't*, or at least, not that I can find, and I want to get this down before I have two years to read everyone's else's opinions and flip flop about. So, HBP, mostly notes to myself. Scattered. This probably wn't make much sense if you aren't in my brain.



Endings

He was dying from when he went to pick up Harry from the Dursley's. The entire withered arm/blackened hand that would not heal was a pretty good clue, but the best clue was that he wanted to start teaching Harry himself. Dumbledore's kept Harry on a relatively arms-length for the most part, give or take revelatory end-of-term meetings. He went to get the ring, knowing that it was going to weaken him tremendously, and then picked up Harry to get the ball rolling before his time was up.

Teaching Harry--okay, at the beginning of the book, Harry came around really pretty fast, but I'm going to just go with the idea that the kiddo had a few months there to do nothing *but* think, and he had plenty of time to calm down. He got out a lot of rage at the end of OotP, which I still applaud, cause wow, he needed that badly. The memories pulled from Slugguy (like I feel like looking this up right now, my book is *feet away from my chair*), the way Dumbledore made him go out and *do* things, on his own, work out the problem, and then brought him along for that final journey for the locket, and if that wasn't a death march, nothing is. He knew he was going to die, and he knew his time was running out, and he's a Gryffindor. He wasn't just going to die--he was going to die *doing something*, and make that death mean something.

You know, I would have said, that scene would have gutted me, but it didn't. It was *dazzling*. There's Dumbledore, looking up, seeing that time is almost out, get Snape, get Snape *now*, Harry, and don't let anyone see you, no one can know I sent you for him, he has one last task. Hmm. Draco stops him, and Dumbledore stops Harry from interfering, because really, this wasn't part of Harry's journey at all, this part was Draco's journey, and Harry had no business in that but to stand witness, to watch, to *see*.

The scene was long, and I really enjoyed Malfoy's half-proud, half-utterly-appalled recitation of events--the kid isn't a murderer. He's a nasty piece of work all around, and no, he's not nice, and at this point, I wouldn't invite him out for crumpets and tea, but--that's what Snape and Dumbledore accomplished between them. He had Voldemort, his mother, his father, his entire heritage on one side, and let's not forget, utterly messy death of himself and family, and really, stacked up? I'm not sure I wouldn't commit murder on that. But he *didn't*, though he planned it--and can I say, wow, this kid is fucking *bright* to work out how to do what pretty much *no active Death Eater or Voldemort has been able to pull off*?--and he stood there, and he made a *choice*, and I don't have to like him to be so fucking proud of that. Most likely back at Death Eater Central, he'll be banging his head against the wall asking himself, Oh God, why the *fuck* did I freeze, why didn't I *kill the bastard*, but he already knows why and now he knows what he isn't. He's not a murderer. Now he just has to figure out what he *is*.

His journey is *fascinating*. I wish we could see more of it.

For the record: in failure of all other arguments, I cannot and will not believe Dumbledore would plead for his life, for any reason, at any time. Dumbledore doesn't fear death, or dying, or what comes after, he's never feared it. He was dying right there, and the only thing his living accomplished at this point was to assure Draco a quick and messy death, along with his family, and cast suspicion on Snape. Everything he'd worked for would be for nothing.

He knew he was dying, and it wasn't an easy death, and Snape could do this, for him, for Draco, and for the fight that had nothing to do with muggles and purebreds at all, though it *does*, but a war that created by a man who hated himself so much that there was nothing else left in him, hated *everything* for that hate in himself, and in that hate, poisoned everything and everyone he touched, blighted it, destroyed it, made it unfit to believe itself worth anything better, made it unfit to know it *could* be better. He made his fellow Death Eaters from the weak, and from people like Snape, internalized hate from that half-muggle side that made him less than purebred (it makes you kinda wonder what the Prince side of the family was like, doesn't it?), that strikes out and out and never rests, and from that idiotic Wormtail, who hated himself for not being what his friends were, who let bitter envy overshadow friendship and loyalty, let that hate become his entire universe. And he almost had Draco, too, and if Dumbledore had any single moment of perfect contentment at death, it's knowing that Harry and Draco *escaped* it, that he set them free, that he took away something from Voldemort that he *wanted*, the soul of one unhappy boy. Harry will carry on the war, not because he hates Voldemort, though that's a reason, and not just for those who died before him, though that's a reason, too, but because he knows as well as Dumbledore does that there are so many things worse than death--there's living as Snape was forced to once, as Wormtail *does*, in a prison of yourself, where there's no peace, no contentment, no rest, no *escape*. And if Voldemort wins, that's all that will be left when he's done. Just fear, and hate, and all the destructive, terrible things people do to escape those things, even when there's no way they can.

So in a way, Dumbledore accomplished pretty much everything he meant to that year, and he had to have died knowing it. Snape did it, for Dumbledore, who helped him get *away* from that and be more, be better, and for Draco, who he never wants to see trapped in that place, and for Harry, who can be strong enough, sure enough of who and what he is, to see this war to the end for the right reasons, all the right reasons.

Okay, now I'm getting teary. *sighs* I love this book so much.


  • 1
*nods* So right there. Thank you for sharing that. *sniff*

It's just so *cool*. And if I'm right, what a *fascinating* thing for her to do, way to do it. *sighs* Yeah. Happy.

Interesting. I came to many of the same conclusions, especially since Snape was very careful to keep Harry from using any unforgivable curses on him. Interesting, yes? Still, I will understand if Harry never forgives Snape for being the one to kill Dumbledore. Lets also note that it was when Dumbledore picked Harry up that he chose to lecture the Dursleys on letting Harry back one last time. He didn't wait for one more year to pass. Interesting too that it was almost exactly one year after burning his hand that he died.

I'm concerned about Professor McGonagall (sp?) being the headmaster though. I suppose Lupin is more useful in the field, but what made Dumbledore great was his flexibility, and understanding of situational morality.

Interesting. I came to many of the same conclusions, especially since Snape was very careful to keep Harry from using any unforgivable curses on him. Interesting, yes?

That entire sequence post-Dumbledore was fantastically done. Snape might not like Harry, but he was still teaching him there--here's what you need to know, now *listen* you stupid boy, *watch*, *learn*, and Jesus, don't get *killed*. I just do *NOT* buy that the Dark Lord is all "Save him for me, even if you have a really, really clear shot!" Cause no. Totally Snape making it up as he goes along, trying to get everything in place for the end.

Still, I will understand if Harry never forgives Snape for being the one to kill Dumbledore.

I don't know. I think not, and still--and this only works if Snape is on the right side, adn honestly, any other reading of the ending makes no sense to me--he might figure it out. He's gotten a lot swifter getting shadings of grey and understanding sacrifices.

Lets also note that it was when Dumbledore picked Harry up that he chose to lecture the Dursleys on letting Harry back one last time. He didn't wait for one more year to pass. Interesting too that it was almost exactly one year after burning his hand that he died.

Yes and yes. He did a pre-emptive warning to the Dursleys there, no reason for it unless he knew he wouldn't be able to be there to do it personally.

I'm concerned about Professor McGonagall (sp?) being the headmaster though. I suppose Lupin is more useful in the field, but what made Dumbledore great was his flexibility, and understanding of situational morality.

I'm curious how Hogwarts will be handled altogether with Harry sort of not there. Hmm.

Exactly. Especially about the pleading for his life part. Because Dumbledore has said time and time again, "Death is but the next great journey," and he was ready then to carry on his plan to its fullest. Bravo insight, I completely agree.

*nod* That, even without everything else, sold me. There is no way Dumbledore would plead with *anyone*. So yes.

Doh! (Anonymous) Expand

Perfect.

(Anonymous)
Very astute. The more I think about it, the more right I think you are. After all, why would Dumbledore give Snape, his trusted spy whom he needed close, the DADA job when he knew that no teacher would last more than a year. He had to have known he was dying, and known that Snape would have to be the one to kill him, before any of the events in the book. That's why Snape made the vow at the beginning. He'd already been told how it would have to end.

I do agree that Draco's character is currently fascinating (although identical to many H/D fics) and Harry will never forgive Snape. I don't see this ending well for the Slytherins.

Rose

That's why Snape made the vow at the beginning. He'd already been told how it would have to end.

Yep. And doesn't that explain why he was so *good* at it, too? Not just good, but *teaching*, even thoes he didn't like, knowing he only had this one year to give them everything they'd need to have to fight.

I do agree that Draco's character is currently fascinating (although identical to many H/D fics) and Harry will never forgive Snape. I don't see this ending well for the Slytherins.

God, Snape deserves a good retirement at this point. *grins* I hope, after the last book, that he gets it.

I totally agree, and I think it ties back in nicely with the Snape/Narcissa/Bellatrix scene at the beginning -- first the oath-whatever (my book is too far away, too ;), and then the intercession from Dumbledore -- both poised to accomplish the same end. "Please"; not pleading for his life, but "Please do this so Draco doesn't have to."

Excellent, all around.

*bounces* Yes! Cause he *knew* Exactly. He didn't like it, but he knew. And like Snape, Dumbledore wanted to make sure that Draco, his student, wouldn't be destroyed as well.

It's freaky to have come to so many of the same conclusions as you did (of course, I never would have been able to express them so perfectly.) Typically, I'm waaaaaay out in left field on this sort of thing.

*giggles* It's just--to me, it felt exactly like this. I like the idea of so many grey spots.

Brilliant analysis. I had many of the same thoughts, but you summarized them perfectly.

Just wanted to say that I absolutely love your icon Magdelena.

Oh... You said that so well... I've bounced and ranted and babbled but you've summarized all of my opinions in one lovely post that's just so eloquent. Everything you said about Draco and Dumbledore's plans and Snape's part in it all were perfectperfectperfect!

Draco is still a little snot, but he's not evil and he's not heartless. And he cried and he was trying to be the killer he needed to be to save his family but in the end, he was still a misguided bratty kid who couldn't kill another person. And I absolutely agree that Dumbledore felt he needed to die to save this boy's life, and even before death, he was trying to save him, trying to make Draco see that he isn't that kind of person.

For the record: in failure of all other arguments, I cannot and will not believe Dumbledore would plead for his life, for any reason, at any time.

The moment Dumbledore said 'Please' I was thinking, "oh no..." because he would definitely never ever beg to save his life...but he would ask one last thing of his faithful spy. And Snape did it, hating Dumbledore for asking him of such a task.

There's Dumbledore, looking up, seeing that time is almost out, get Snape, get Snape *now*, Harry, and don't let anyone see you, no one can know I sent you for him, he has one last task. Hmm. Draco stops him, and Dumbledore stops Harry from interfering, because really, this wasn't part of Harry's journey at all, this part was Draco's journey, and Harry had no business in that but to stand witness, to watch, to *see*.

How much do I adore this point of view of the events? He had it all planned out and he was going out just like this. Ah... I like this view of what happened very much.

Yes! He *did*. He planned it, I just *know*. I mean--the trust he had in Snape was absolute. I admit Dumbledore made mistakes, but I don't buy at all that he made *that* kind, not this big. He's way too good a judge of people.

Wow! Thanks for your thoughts! There were one or two interesting points in there that I hadn't considered. It's all very intriguing, isn't it? ^_^

Two *years* until we know for sure.

I wont have fingernails left. Hell, I won't have *fingers* left.

New Rowling Interview

JK actually (sort of) just talked about some of the stuff you mentioned.
The-Leaky-Cauldron managed to interview her over the weekend, and they asked about Snape. By the time you read this the second part will have been posted, so check the front page.

http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/extras/aa-jointerview1.html

Re: New Rowling Interview

Thank you *so much* for the link. *hugs*

Wowo.

Just - wow.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Because it is what Dumbledore's about.

Especially with the scene where he makes Harry realize the difference between entering a death kicking and screaming and walking bravely into it because you know it is what has to be done. It's all about choice and whether you'll allow yourself to have it.

He gave Harry the choice to walk away from the war. He gave Snape the choice to not hate himself anymore. He showed Draco that he had a choice in the matter -- offering to protect Draco and his mother. That's what Dumbledore's about. To allow people to choose their paths -- and why he didn't just do away with Riddle after their teacher interview.

Dumbledore, in his final moment, chose how he was going to go out.

Yes. And *yes*.

He gave Harry the choice to walk away from the war. He gave Snape the choice to not hate himself anymore. He showed Draco that he had a choice in the matter -- offering to protect Draco and his mother. That's what Dumbledore's about. To allow people to choose their paths -- and why he didn't just do away with Riddle after their teacher interview.

Dumbledore, in his final moment, chose how he was going to go out.


Absolutely. Beyond doubt. That was Dumbledore at his finest, that he gave all of them that.

Beautifully said. Perfectly said, even.

I'm glad to find people who think alike. I made the same comments to my friends and they thought I wa scrazy :) I trust dumbledore 100%. He knew what he was doing.

*nodnodnod* Yes. Dumbledore so knew what he was doing.

I find it very intertesting that Dumbledore trusted Snape so much even in the very last part he still trusted him. Also someone I read had a very interesting essay giving one very clear and good point, Dumbledore does not plead. Which I completely agreee with, so I really think that Snape is actually on the order's side only that his spying is so good that not even the order knows only Dumbledore. Also Snape stopped Harry from being tortured by the Death Eaters, even the Dark Lord wouldn't have a problem with a little harry torture right? so Snape's excuse really dosen't work. I also think that when Hagrid over heard Snape and Dumbledore argue that it was either planned so everyone wpould believe Snape the traitor or Snape argued about having to kill Dumbledore. Also I remembered that Voldemort is a very powerful Legilmens and Harry isn't too good at Occlumency so maybe that's why he couldn't be told about it before hand but then again wouldn't that mean that Voldemort knows about Dumbledore's search for the Horcruxes? These are just my thoughts on the book, what does everyone else think.

Yes, absolutely. This had to happen, I *know* it did, for the sake of the war.

Also I remembered that Voldemort is a very powerful Legilmens and Harry isn't too good at Occlumency so maybe that's why he couldn't be told about it before hand but then again wouldn't that mean that Voldemort knows about Dumbledore's search for the Horcruxes?

That is an excellent point. I didn't think of that. I think the search for the horcruxes might not be as important as assuring that Snape isn't outed, so Harry couldn't, and for that matter, Draco couldn't know.

Really good point.

All in all, I thought the book was great. Draco got a lot more development; the canon fan in me is whooping, because now, although he's suspect and a fugitive, he's got some solid canonical focus and motivations, whereas before, anyone who was interested in the character had to speculate. It's interesting that a lot of fanon speculation - running the gamut from whiny, teary-eyed, all-I-want-is-a-hug Draco to ruthless, scheming Draco - all came to true, to a certain extent in this book.

Ah, Snape. Snape, Snape, Snape. Woe! I really despair for him; I don't think he's going to live out the series. Most of my LJ friends actually think that there's no hope of his redemption now, but the death scene read differently in my head; I saw it pretty much as you did, in fact. I think that Snape did it to prevent Draco from doing it, in order to fulfil the vow he made to Narcissa. Since the scene was from Harry's perspective, and given that he already has misgivings about Snape's motives, it would have looked like Dumbledore was pleading for his life; the whole point of the narrative structure is to reveal the true nature of events slowly. JKR does tend to have last-minute reversals in her characters' fortunes, and not everything is as it appears at first sight (or reading). Of course, that was the whole point with Snape's apparent arc in this book as well - even McGonagall thought he was trustworthy right up to the end. Anyway, it should be interesting to see how it plays out in book 7.

Harry's development continues apace. At least the shouting seems to have stopped, mercifully. Seriously though, it's great that he's trying to act responsibly and, y'know, actually get something done. I was reading a couple of critical essays on the HP-verse on the New York Times online edition, and one of the essayists complained that one of the reasons she couldn't take the books seriously was because she thought the viewpoint of the books and Harry's responses to adolescent concerns was always that of a pre-adolescent child. This was in response to OotP, when he was fifteen. It would be interesting to find out what the same essayist thought of HBP, because I think Harry really does manage to develop into a more mature version of himself. It's not what he would be as a full-fledged adult, and he still tends to be a bit predjudiced about people he dislikes, but at least in this book he's trying, instead of whining and TALKING LIKE THIS. I really had a problem with Harry's attitude in OotP, and I'm really glad that he matured in this book. The scene with the Felix Felices was really the moment I was rooting for him again. JKR played that really well; I really did think that Harry had slipped Ron the potion, and I was so with Hermione when she remonstrated with him. When he revealed that he it was untouched, I wanted to hug him, I was so proud.

I bring up Harry because it's interesting to compare his arc with Draco's. Draco has been shown to be juvenile in the books, when he commands description at all. Like Harry, he has to adapt quickly to a new and hostile environment and think on his feet to ensure success. I liked how Rowling didn't boil Draco's actions down to the I-want-power argument; there are real pressures on him to perform his task, and he is shown to feel the strain of his choices in a way that he wasn't before. I find it interesting that, while Harry begins to see the consequences of his choices and actions noticeably quicker than Draco, they both do so in the same book.

...whoa. Loooong comment, there. Didn't mean to witter on so much!

  • 1